Laceyville, Pennsylvania, the Hub of the Endless Mountains
Laceyville is a busy rural town in the northwest corner of Wyoming County on the North Branch on the Susquehanna River in Northeast Pennsylvania (NEPA).
Early history tells us that for more than two centuries this section was a camping ground for the Tuscarora Indians going to and from the Six Nations in New York State. In 1778, Col. Thomas Hartley passed through here when fighting the Indians. The following year General John Sullivan marched with his men over the same route.
This was before pioneers left their homes in Connecticut during the mid-eighteenth century to settle in the valleys to the west. Some settled along the Tuscarora Creek by the Susquehanna River. The colony took the name "Skinners Eddy". The area became known as "Braintrim", undoubtedly from the town of Braintree where they had formerly lived.
Each spring thaws caused the river to rise and flood the lowlands at the Eddy and homes were destroyed. Therefore, the settlers looked to higher ground to rebuild their homes and start new businesses. Several moved westward about one mile to the present site of Laceyville.
About 1810 Hiram Ward opened a store in the newly settled area and Davis D. Gray started a tannery. Soon other businesses appeared and in 1813 the first school was taught in a log house on the present James Morris property. In 1822 the first post office came to Braintrim but Laceyville didn’t have its own until 1841. It was then that the town’s name was decided to honor an influential resident, Henry W. Lacey, but Laceyville didn’t become a borough until 1903.
The North Branch Canal was completed in 1857 and provided a much safer mode of travel than the river with its rafts and riverboats. Farm products, quarried stone, lumber and other goods were hauled to eastern markets on the Durham boats and coal from the anthracite mines and other products were brought back. Even faster travel was possible when the railroad replaced the canal in the late 1860’s.
In the last half of the century, too, Whipple Brothers, Inc. was founded and the Edwards Manufacturing Company started to make log turners for the timbering industry. At the turn of the century Cline’s Mill was built at nearby Skinners Eddy and in the ensuing years it was sold to Agway, Inc. who, with the aforementioned two businesses, are today the three largest employers in the Laceyville area.
In 1893 the town had its first newspaper, the "Braintrim Messenger". Since 1823, twenty-eight physicians have served the health needs of the people. Two volunteer companies, The Goodwill Fire Company and The Laceyville-Meshoppen Ambulance Association have answered emergency calls for several decades.
Fires and floods have caused extensive damages to homes and businesses over the years but never have they quenched the spirit of those who have had to pick up and start over.
Today, the local school system is a part of the Wyalusing Area School District. The Braintrim Baptist Church, Skinners Eddy United Methodist Church and Saint John’s Episcopal Church serve the town’s spiritual needs. Hunting and fishing are abundant in the area and has provided recreational pastimes since the first settlers arrived.
Many residents are employed by nearby industries but farming, logging and quarrying are still big businesses. Laceyville has only a few more residents today than it did a quarter of a century ago but everyone can be proud they live here.
We hope you’ll stop by and meet our friendly people!